June 8, 2010
I'm excited about a show opening in a few weeks at Yossi Milo titled Retratos Pintados. It's an exhibit hand-painted Brazilian vernacular photographs from the collection of Titus Riedl. My grandparents in Mexico had photos like these around the house and I've always loved the form. A book with the same title with 60 some odd images was just released by Nazraeli Press. The forward is by Martin Parr. He writes in the intro:
"Nothing has stopped me in my tracks more than when I was first introduced to a set of images collected by Titus Riedl, while attending a Latin American photo forum in São Paulo. If you visit a house in the northeast of Brazil, you are very likely to see a photo painting on the wall. This is a tradition that dates back many years, when a black and white image was not deemed exciting enough. Painted photos are a way of bestowing status on members of your family (both dead and alive) and giving them an iconic, almost saint-like look. When the roving dealers visited these houses, in search of commissions, they were able to facilitate any dream. They could bring back the dead, dress you in expensive clothes and jewellery, make you look years younger. Although these images are still produced, they are now more likely to be computer-generated rather than hand-painted. As I was keen to see the last of these artists in action, Titus decided to arrange an introduction. We went to my hotel room and made the edit that you see here. As another analogue tradition dies, we offer the portraits in this book as a testament to a most remarkable method of creating portraits. Let the dream live on."
The book is definitely high on my wishlist and the show is marked MUST NOT FORGET on my calendar.